As the fire began to move down the eastern flank of Cold Spring Canyon it became clear that the main part of Montecito would be under threat, especially given the predicted sundowner winds.
Firefighters had wanted to burn out the entire mountain wall from Romero Canyon to Gibraltar Road but unfavorable conditions prevented that. Instead they met the challenge directly in Cold Spring Canyon, hammering it with water phos-check, dozers and hundreds of hand crews working to build containment line.
But when the winds came, they blew through the lower part of Cold Spring like a tide wave hitting the shore, with a fiery cloud of smoke hundreds of feet high.
The battle for Montecito was on!
With more engines and the power of eight thousand fire fighters, they lined Mountain Drive, Park and Bella Vista Lanes and embedded themselves in the driveways of hundreds of homes.
When the smoke cleared only a handful of homes (it appears) had been lost. Given the billion-plus dollars at risk, these men and women were heroes in every regard. Tough, resilient, hard-working and ever positive, they are the best of what is good about America.